So… is like, your social engagement strategy integrating brand-centric consumer touch points with congruent messaging into your global relationship ecosystem?
You’d end a meeting quickly with anyone who spoke like that, wouldn’t you? Word choice matters when you’re talking about how to boost sagging sales or strategically grow your business. The last thing you want to hear is meaningless talk about some touchy-feely notion of social engagement. So what are we getting at? Here are your bullets:
- What is the real business value of social media engagement? Does it even matter?
- What is a brand impression worth?
- Don’t attempt lead generation on social media.
- Do increase brand value and sell more!
“Engagement” is perhaps the single fluffiest word in the marketing lexicon and has been used as a crutch by early or inexperienced social media marketers. Engagement can be understood as the interactions people have with your social media content, i.e. likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.
Being short on quantifiable sales results, but keeping a strong belief in the effectiveness of the new media, social media consultants have pushed “engagement” as the key metric for their effectiveness in the marketing mix. Engagement is easy to measure, but it has nothing directly to do with sales. Remember that – Engagement has nothing directly to do with sales.
They promise you engagement but what you need are paying customers!
Here’s a key point about engagement, as well as non-engagement, for that matter. Presuming you have done what it takes to build a social media following, some of your clients and potential customers never like or comment on your social shares but they do notice and pay attention. They see your posts or ads in their feed and a brand impression is registered. Every business executive understands that there is some value to a brand impression. Is it worth fractions of a cent, a few pennies or a lot more than that?
Your social media brand impression’s value depends a lot on how clearly your brand is perceived by your target audience; how well positioned it is. The more accurately people perceive your product/service/differentiator, the more impact every impression has on your brand equity in the market, therefore your sales potential. See the relationship?
From the marketing perspective, social media provides far more value to brand building and public relations than in direct lead generation for sales.
There are certainly scores of anecdotes about sales made directly on social media and it happens all the time for retail-consumer businesses. However, if you’re running a B2B enterprise or small business, manage your expectations about how social media engagement ultimately impacts your business.
A bevy of likes and comments, complete with good feelings, kudos, smiling faces and thumbs up can certainly get your attention and that’s often where it seems to end. Over time, however, all those likes and comments enhance the impressions of those posts. For any of the potential customers regularly fed your social media messages, your brand is moving toward Top-of-Mind Awareness, which is a powerful sales driver.